Moms and Maids

Need some help with my mother...

This is a little long...sorry!

M and I have been engaged since September 2011. We decided to wait on wedding plans until we purchased a house. We figured this would be the best approach since we are paying for the wedding ourselves. So we settled on the house and moved in March and have since been planning for the wedding next summer, 8.31.13. 

So in June my mom pulled my sister and I aside and asked if I wanted to try on her wedding dress. She's never opened the box so we only knew what it looked like from pictures. She opened it and it's beautiful but it's a size 00. I would be lucky if I got my leg in the dress, literally. So I politely declined even though I said it was beautiful and it wouldn't fit. She said that I could alter it if I wanted to. But it wouldn't work and I don't want to destroy it, especially since my sister isn't married yet and may want to wear it.

So I went dress shopping with my mom, FMIL, and BM's. I found my dream dress and purchased it in August. My dress is ivory and there are pearls on it, so my sister thought I could maybe borrow a strand of pearls from my mom for the wedding. She asked and my mom said no. 

So now we are in December and we still have over 8 months of planning to go. And I've been on Pinterest getting ideas for things and what have you. So I found a beautiful bouquet that incorporated lace from the Mother of the Bride's wedding dress as the something old. I thought this would be really sentimental to have a part of in the wedding. I asked my mom 2 weeks ago and she never responded.

Last night I was at my parents helping my sister decide what to take on vacation. So while I was there I asked my mom if she thought about it. And she snapped at me and said "I am NOT cutting up my wedding dress." And my Dad replied saying she was really offended and that she didn't know what to say because she didn't want me to get mad. And I wasn't mad that she said no. I made that clear. I apologized for asking her. But I told them I am mad about not getting a response from her. That's fine if she doesn't want to give a small piece of lace from the dress, but she could have told me in a more respectful manner. 

So I was talking with my sister while helping her pack. And I broke down crying. I try so hard to do the right things and make it seem like my mom cares. But the more I try, the more I get let down. This morning I woke up and she text me and said that she'll let me use her wedding handkerchief and a pearl bracelet. So I know my sister said something, if not her my Dad did to my Mom. 

I decided that I'm going to decline the offer. I just want my mom to be involved in the wedding plans or at the very least WANT to be involved. Everyone else asks how the planning is going and she never asks or seems to care.

Any ideas on how to get my mom more interested in our wedding? Or should I just let it go and continue planning? 

Thank you!
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Re: Need some help with my mother...

  • Just let it go and continue your wedding plans. Wedding planning should be done by you and your FI.
  • edited December 2012
    I think you might be overthinking this. I mean, your mom was willing to let you have the dress altered. To me, her curt remark (based on what you have provided) sounded just like she may have been in a bad mood that day. 

    Is maybe the reason your mom isn't involved in the wedding planning, or doesn't seem particularly interested in it. because she knows you're taking care of it beautifully? My mom's involvement in my wedding day extended little beyond "send me the bill." She's not a "wedding person" and I'm her only child and she didn't go dress shopping with me. But she had a fantastic time at the wedding. Some moms are just like that.
  •      Your mother may have been hoping your sister will one day wear the dress. That could be the reason she didn't want to cut out a piece of lace. I do agree she should have responded to your request and explained that she didn't want to cut out a piece of the dress in case your sister decided to wear it when she gets married.
          Your mother does seem interested in your wedding. She offered to let you wear her wedding dress and when you declined she went dress shopping with you. I really think she was hurt that you didn't want to wear her dress after she said you could alter it. That was probably why she said no to the pearls. She might be trying to make it up to you by offering you her wedding handkerchief and pearl bracelet. If you decline this offer as well you will only be pushing her further away.
          I wish you the best of luck!
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I think both you and your mom are over-sensitive.

    Stop reacting to what you perceive as insults and rejections. Your mom offered you her dress to wear, you graciously declined. That should have been the end of the story. Your mom probably wants to make the same offer to your sister so she doesn't want her dress cut.

    Now your mom is offering to loan you her pearls, which you wanted to wear and a handkerchief. What does it matter if your sister or dad suggested it to her? My advice is to accept her offer and put this petty stuff behind you.

    Also, talk to your mom, yourself. Don't go through your sister.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ditto Marie. 
  • Honestly, declining her offer for the handkerchief and pearls is just going to fuel the spiral of hurt back and forth.  Think for a moment for your motivations.  Are you declining because you honestly don't want them?  Or are you declining them as a way to strike out and hurt your mother?  You shouldn't be making wedding decisions into weapons, that's not what weddings are about.

    Did she do something that hurt you?  Yes.  Is she trying to make it up to you now that she realized that she hurt you?  Yes.  Are you going to improve the situation at all by smacking her attempt at reconcilliation away?  Nope.

    That is, unless you actually aren't as upset by all this drama as you say, and actually enjoy it.  If that's actually the case, then your goals would be achieved by dragging this further down into the mud with more dramatic barbs and gestures.

    Honestly, she probably was really deeply hurt by you deciding on going with another dress.  Some mothers get SUPER emotionally attached to the idea of thier daughter wearing their dress (watch Say Yes to the Dress for long enough, you'll see them be entirely unreasonable).  She probably was holding it inside because she knew logically she was being silly.  Then it leaked.  Now she's trying to make up for it.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten



  • I don't understand why she would be offended that you wanted to preserve her wedding dress since altering it to your size sounds like it would be extreme.. (although, the only reason to keep a wedding dress as a keepsake is to pass it on), meh.  For you to turn down altering/destroying the dress for you to wear in case your sister could use it in the future.. and then request to destroy it for just a little piece of lace seems a little rude.

    I would not turn down her new offer to borrow you the bracelet and hankie. Even if it came about because something your sister or dad said, she didn't have to offer it. Take it. Here is your opportunity to incorporate something sentimental.
  • Thanks for the responses. Just a few things...I specifically asked my sister not to say anything to my mom. This should be between us. We've never had a strong relationship and the more I try to improve it the worse it seems to be. Also, I did decline the pearls because I already bought some when she had said no. I did not decline to be spiteful or to "fuel the fire".
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • OP, I think that wedding planning time is generally a bad time to try to "improve" relations with anybody. Wedding planning can be chaotic and emotional, with everyone's opinions flying around, and is not always conducive to deepening the mother-daughter bond, especially if it has never been strong. I think you need to accept your mother and your relationship with her as they are, and continue with your plans.
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2012
    I disagree with Retread's post, above, as I see no "abuse" in what you have written. I also disagree with unchaten's post, as any time is a good time to work on family relationships. She is making an effort as she shopped with you and offered to you three prized, or honored, possessions. So what if your dad or sis told on you. That is not on your mom. Your sis asked for the pearls and not you. Again, this is not on your mom. Maybe she was planning on wearing them herself. I would let my daughter wear mine, if I had pearls and a daughter, but that's me. So she didn't answer your first request for lace. She offered other things. You first said you didn't want to destroy the dress anyway. It's not always easy to get along with your family, but just keep trying. We love family unconditionally and forgive and forget. Well, unless the offenses are egregious and unlawful. No one is perfect.
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2012
    Repeating, "Well, unless the offenses are egregious or unlawful."
  • In Response to Re: Need some help with my mother...:
    Repeating, "Well, unless the offenses are egregious or unlawful."
    Posted by NYCMercedes
    Honestly, I'm viewed as the "black sheep" in the family. I'm not trying to air our dirty laundry with details but that's the way it has always been. And I'm trying so hard because I am realizing that I am much, much closer to my FMIL. Which whom I adore, I just thought I would try to improve my relationship with my mom. She's given me advice on improving it and so has M.

    However, every time it's the same thing and in some way/shape/form I'm always told "you're an ungrateful daughter". I've heard this so many times over my life it's ridiculous. So as of right now, I'm taking the advice to keep the wedding details to a need to know basis. 

    Thanks again.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • My mom is an all or nothing person.   If you don't take all she offers you better ask for nothing.  If my mom offered her dress even though I am much bigger and I would refuse because it is burgandy and too small she would flip out and if I asked for her pearls there would not be a chance in heck she would loan them to me.  There is something at her house that has sat for years untouched, it was mine when I was a kid,  I keep asking for this and keep getting the same thing.  Either she may use it someday or my brothers may want it someday. 
    Just go about your planning.
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